Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dress Code

Do you remember when you dressed to go out to a restaurant? No, I don't mean dressed up--as in wearing your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. I mean get dressed--as in put on some clothing. The other night the house hunk treated me at the local Italian food place. When we arrived, there was a sign with a long list of requirements to be met before you would be served.

Shoes. Shirt (with no offensive slogans printed on it.) No bathing suits. No underwear visible. No baggy pants.

Now it seems to me that most of that should be common sense, but then, what do I know? Clearly, the managers of this restaurant felt that it was necessary to post the sign. It was posted quite visibly in every entrance to the restaurant. And the font was large enough for me to read without my glasses. So what do you suppose this really means?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we've allowed the word casual to go to the extreme. It used to be that you didn't wear raggedy clothes unless you were doing a very dirty job or painting. Now they're considered dressed up enough to wear to awards shows. What is wrong with nice clothes?

I'm the first person to advocate comfort. The house hunk and I went out to an extremely flash restaurant for his sixtieth birthday. He wore a suit. I wore my dressiest outfit. Both of us were uncomfortable. We enjoyed the food, but not the experience and agreed that we would rather go to Outback Steakhouse if we could both wear a nice pair of jeans and a casual shirt.

However, there are lines to be drawn in what is appropriate when you walk out the door. I know an older woman who is very well endowed, though her endowment is sinking fast. She thinks nothing of going our in public without a bra. Uh, sweetheart? Put some clothes on. Begin with your underwear.

Wear shoes. If you're gonna wear sandals, clean your feet. Please.

Underwear is exactly that. Underwear. I can't tell you how disturbing I find it when men walk around with their underwear showing. No, it isn't sexy. Not on a sixteen-year-old. Not on a sixty-year-old. If you want to show a woman your underwear, rent a room.

Ladies... words nearly fail me when I see some of the clothing out there. One word. Mirror. Use it every time you go out the door. Check the back view as well as the front view. Remember that old saying? If it ain't for sale, don't advertise it. There's still some truth in it.

Am I the fashion police? Nope. I just figure that we need to be setting an example for the youngsters. They truly do mimic what they see their elders do--especially once they pass their teens. If they seem that Mom and Dad can be class acts even at their most casual, they'll imitate that too, when they're mature enough.

Then maybe restaurants won't have to post dress codes for adults.



  1. I remember when families were dressed at dinner and we're so darn casual these days, it's not unusual for me to wear my jammy bottoms and a tee to supper.

    As the mom of a teen daughter, you wouldn't BELIEVE what some of these kids wear. Yes, they do the underwear showing thing here, too and NO, I don't want to see it.

  2. Yeah, I don't get the showing your undewear thing at all. Who wants to see it? Pull up your strides. Also I don't understand why people dress up to the nines and then spend all evening sniffling in the most disgusting manner because with all the money they spend looking flash they did not think to buy a handkerchief or tissues. It's just pukeable to listen to

  3. Ever see one of those guys try to walk while literally holding onto his pants? How can they possibly think they look "cool"?

  4. When I see one of those guys with his jeans riding below his bum, I always get this evil urge to walk up behind him and give a little tug. He might actually look less ridiculous with them around his ankles.

    I'm glad, however, we're past the days of "dressing for dinner" on a regular basis. Changing into fancy clothes for the evening meal, no matter where you're eating it. I do usually try to wear actual clothing to the dinner table, but at the most I'll just keep on whatever I wore to work that day--slacks and a blouse. And usually I don't even do that, but change *out* of my nice clothes before eating.

  5. Mirror. Yeah. Muffin-tops confuse the heck out of me. If your jeans are tight enough to be sliding halfway down your butt for lack of containment and you have a wad of flesh dragging over the top of the waist band, WHY are you wearing a short, tight shirt to show it off? Is that sexy? To me it just looks like you are blowing up outside your clothes. If you want to wear tight pants, fine. But can you wear a shirt that gets tucked in over the muffin?

  6. Remember when the 'fashion' was to wear low-rider jeans, a thong, and a tiny shirt, so the thong strap was visible? I had a neighbor who would yank on the thong straps of her daughter and any other females who stepped into her house while wearing their undies above the jeans.

    Since I don't have to get 'dressed up' except to go to church, signings, or conferences, sometimes the 'what to wear' issue stresses me out. But I grew up in an atmosphere where looking your best in public was expected, unless you were just doing chores around town. But restaurants, family gatherings, and WORK...there was an informal dress code in my family, and if you violated it, you were either pulled aside or told later in private that what you were wearing was not appropriate, and to please wear something a little nicer next time.

  7. I have to tell my students regularly that their choice of undergarments is not my business and I don't want to know. Also, the waist band of your pants should form a capital T with your backside, not a lower case T or an L.